Only 15 games last week, as the Ravens/Houston game was postponed because of damage to the Texans' stadium caused by Hurricane Ike. Texans play their next two games on the road, so maybe they'll get the thing fixed by October 5.
Brad's Picks was 11-4 last week, on the mark when Denver beat the Chargers 39-38 in a Mile High shootout; when the Packers beat Detroit 48-25; when the Giants whupped St. Louis 41-13; when the Raiders beat up on Kansas City 23-8; when Carolina eked out a win over the Bears 20-17; when the Titans really beat Cincinnati 24-7; when the Bills won in Jacksonville 20-16; when Tampa Bay beat the Falcons 24-9; when Arizona whupped the Dolphins 31-10; when the Steelers beat Cleveland 10-6 on SNF; and when Dallas beat the Eagles 41-37 on MNF (and that's the highest point total in a game between these two teams in 95 games).
Brad's Picks was off the mark when the Forty Niners beat Seattle 33-30 in OT; when the Colts beat Minnesota 18-15 on a last second 48 yard FG; when Washington beat the Saints 29-24; and when the Patriots beat the New York Jets 19-10.
Brad's Picks is 22-9 on the season.
Home teams overall were 6-9 last week, and are 16-15 on the season. But the lone home team playing a visitor from the other coast was 1-0 this week, as Arizona beat the Dolphins. Home teams playing a team from the other coast are 2-1 on the season. This week, we have three coast to coast games: Raiders at Buffalo; Cardinals at Washington; and Jets at San Diego.
NFC 1 and AFC 1 this week. On the season, it's NFC 4, AFC 2.
George was 7-8 last week, and is 13-18 on the season.
this week: the 11:00 MDT games:
Kansas City (0-2) at Atlanta (1-1)
- Tough game to call. Neither team is very good, despite Atlanta's first week win over the Lions, and the Chiefs' decent performance in New England the same week. Chiefs used 3 different QB's last week in the loss to the Raiders at Arrowhead. I have no idea who will get the start this week. Chiefs gave up 300 yards on the ground to the Raiders (on 47 attempts) but only 55 yards through the air (mostly due to the total ineptitude of Raiders QB Jamarcus Russell). Falcons rookie QB Matt Ryan, who had a great first game vs. the Lions, started the game 0 for 9 but settled down to finish 13 of 33 for 158 yards (but two INT's). Falcons RB Michael Turner was held to 42 yards on 14 carries against the Bucs, but the Bucs have a good D and the Chiefs don't. Take the Falcons. George takes the Chiefs.
Oakland (1-1) at Buffalo (2-0)
- Trent Edwards was pretty good at QB for the Bills last week in the horrible heat of Jacksonville (20-25-0-239 and one really nifty TD pass to rookie James Hardy in the absolute corner of the end zone (the 4th quarter TD put the Bills up 17-16). Raiders ran wild against the Chiefs last week, but the Bills held a real good running team (Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew) to just 98 yards on 27 carries. Raiders do not yet have a passing game. This is a no-brainer. Buffalo wins. George, however, will take the Raiders.
Tampa Bay (1-1) at Chicago (1-1)
- Brian Griese took over at QB for the Bucs. Was it because Jeff Garcia has an ankle owie, or was that John Gruden's excuse to bench Garcia? Rumor is that Garcia is on the trading block. Regardless, Griese was a pretty decent 18-31-0-160 and one 5 yard TD toss, but the Bucs mainly rode RB Earnest Graham (116 on 15, including a 68 yard TD run in the 4th) to rout the Falcons 24-9. The Bears stomped the Colts 29-13 in the opener, then lost a tough one at Carolina last week. Bears finally get a home game (the Colts game was on Sunday night, then another long road trip) and I think they're looking pretty good behind the strong running of rookie Matt Forte and the decent play of QB Kyle Orton and a D that seems to be back. Bucs may be without the services of two rookie CB's: Elbert Mack has been handed a one game suspension for a helmet to helmet hit on Matt Ryan last week, and Aqib Talib has a hammie injury. Taking the Bears here. George likes the Bucs.
Carolina (2-0) at Minnesota (0-2)
- Panthers beat the Bears last week after falling behind 10-3 at the half. Things are looking good for the Panthers - can't beat a 2-0 start (against San Diego and the Bears), Jake Delhomme is looking very good, and now they get WR Steve Smith back. Vikings, alas, are not looking good at 0-2. Tarvaris Jackson looked lost the last two weeks, and will be replaced by 37 year old Gus Frerotte. Vikes couldn't hold off a weakened Colts team last week, despite a 15 point lead late in the 3rd quarter. Take the Panthers on the road, even though Gus should be an upgrade at QB. George will take Minnesota.
Miami (0-2) at New England (2-0)
- Division game. Matt Cassell last week was a very good 16-23-0-165 in relief of Tom Brady (Cassell's first start since high school). But the Patriots weren't very good at punching it in, as they settled for four FG's and one TD on a one yard run by Sammie Morris to beat the Jets. Dolphins got beat in the desert 31-10. QB Chad Pennington (10-20-0-112) got lifted in the 4th quarter for rookie Chad Henne (7-12-0-67) , but Coach Sparano says Pennington is still the starter. Whichever Chad plays, I'll take the Patriots. The Dolphins just aren't there as a team yet, especially the defense. George likes the Dolphins.
Cincinnati (0-2) at New York Giants (2-0)
- Lets keep this simple. Bengals are a mess (Carson Palmer threw two INT's last week), while the Giants are still the Champs of the league. George likes the Giants also.
Houston (0-1) at Tennessee (2-0)
- Division game. Houston got an early bye last week because of Hurricane Ike, so they got some extra time to get ready. Texans lost to the T's twice last year, 38-36 in Houston, 28-20 in Tennessee. Titans won in Cincinnati last week, 24-7, but one TD came late on a blocked punt in the Bengals end zone. Kerry Collins was a very nice 14-21-0-128 and one TD pass in a very windy stadium. Rookie RB Chris Johnson had 109 on 19. I gotta take the Titans here. George also likes the homer Titan's.
Arizona (2-0) at Washington (1-1)
- Washington was down 24-15 to the Saints at the start of the 4th quarter last week, but got two TD's in the 4th (one 8 yard run by Portis, and a 63 yard pass from Jason Campbell to Santana Moss) to get the win. Kurt Warner was great for the Cards last week, going 19-24-0-361 with 3 TD's against the Dolphins, but the Fins held Edgerrin James to just 55 on 18. Redskins D is a lot better than the Dolphins D, and it might be a long day for Warner on Sunday. Take Washington. George inexplicably is taking Arizona.
the 2:05 MDT games:
New Orleans (1-1) at Denver (2-0)
- Broncos were in a heck of a shootout last week at Mile High against the Chargers, winning by a point after a two point PAT late in the 4th. Saints lost 29-24 at Washington, after being up 24-15 after three. Saints defensive backfield is banged up. Neither team has been good against the run. Gonna be another Mile High shootout. Take the Broncos. Saints are on their second road game, and the Broncos are healthy. George also like the Broncos at Mile High.
Detroit (0-2) at San Francisco (1-1)
- Neither of these teams is going to the playoffs. Mike Martz was the O coordinator in Detroit last year, now he's the O coordinator in San Francisco. Niners QB J.T. O'Sullivan was also with the Lions last year. I'll go with that edge and take the Forty Niners. George will go with the Lions.
St. Louis (0-2) at Seattle (0-2)
- Division game. Seahawks have lost 6 wide receivers to injury this year, three of them for the season. They traded with the Broncos for backup Keary Colbert, and signed Koren Robinson, their first round pick in 2001. Robinson got into a lot of trouble because of alcohol, but has found God and family. Still, he hasn't played at all this year. Seahawks will also be without RB Maurice Morris this week. Coach Holmgren has stated that Koren Robinson will start, and last year's 6th round pick Courtney Taylor will start on the other side, but Holmgren also says that Colbert and Michael Bumpus, an undrafted rookie out of Washington State, and journeyman Billy McMullen, will also play. Luckily, the Seahawks are facing one of the worst teams in the league, and their D is OK. Still, the Rams are 0-2 in large part because they've played Philadelphia and the Giants. Tough call. I'm taking Seattle at home - they still have a defense, and Hasselbeck, as we speak, is practicing a few plays for each of these receivers. George will take the Rams.
the 2:15 MDT games:
Cleveland (0-2) at Baltimore (1-0)
- Division game. Browns lost at home last week to the Steelers 10-6, but had a chance to win but Derek Anderson's last second pass into the end zone was picked off by Troy Polamalu. Browns started the season with high hopes, but after losing the first two (at home!) it's looking grim in the Dawg Pound. Adding to their troubles, the Browns lost defensive end Robaire Smith for an extended period, maybe for the season, with an injured Achilles' tendon. Browns were already playing without LB Antwan Peek (out for the season) and safety Sean Jones (out for several weeks). Browns have let their opposing QB's play for a rating of 107 (Romo and Roethlisberger) while Derek Anderson is muddling along with a rating of 57, but maybe that would be higher if Braylon Edwards hadn't dropped a lot of passes. Ravens' rookie QB Joe Flacco is no Romo or Roethlisberger, but the Baltimore D is very good, and RB Willis McGahee is healthy. Ravens had the week off to get ready for this one. George likes the Browns.
Jacksonville (0-2) at Indiaplop (1-1)
- Division game. Second game at the quaintly named Lucas Oil Stadium (called the Lube by the locals) for the Colts. Colts are still a struggling team, nowhere near the team they have been in the recent past. The O line is hurting. Joseph Addai gained just 20 yards on 15 carries last week. But that was against the Vikings tremendous D line. Peyton Manning brought his team back from 15 - 0 in the 3rd, to an 18-15 win. It took a 48 yard FG to do it, as time ran out. Colts made it past the 50 just once in the first half, which says something about Peyton Manning. Both teams have been hit hard with injuries to the O line, and now Colts all - pro safety Bob Sanders is out for 4-6 weeks. But the Jags aren't playing well, and the Colts do get starting Center Jeff Saturday back, and you gotta go with Peyton Manning at the Lube. George also like the Colts at the Lube.
Pittsburgh (2-0) at Philadelphia (1-1)
- Ow! Maybe I'll just go with George on this one. But, when you're a Picker, you can't do that. Eagles largely shut down the Dallas run game last Monday night, and could have won the game except it turned into a wild thing. Both QB's are playing good, but I think Donovan McNabb will outplay Ben R in Philly, a tough place for any team to play, much less the cross-state Steelers. Eagles rookie WR DeSean Jackson should make some plays. Taking the Eagles at home. George likes the Eagles too.
the 6:15 MDT SNF game:
Dallas (2-0) at Green Bay (2-0)
- Both teams are playing very well, but the 'Boys were a worry last Monday night against the Eagles, with all kinds of sloppy play. Both Romo and Rogers are doing good at QB. I like the Packers at home - the more steady team. George likes the 'Boys.
the 6:30 MDT MNF game:
New York Jets (1-1) at San Diego (0-2)
- Chargers lost a shootout at Mile High last week, and feel they got jobbed on a couple calls. They're a real good team, Philip Rivers is a very good QB, and will beat the Jets who have to fly a real long way. George likes the Jets.